37th Annual Texas Open / Round Rock, TX

by Lea Andrews

On September 8, while much of the country was grudgingly heading back to work after Labor Day weekend, Chris Bartram was winning the second set of the finals of the 37th Annual Texas Open. The $4,000-added event, scheduled for September 4-7, drew 128 players to G Cue Billiards in Round Rock, TX.

Bartram’s only loss came in the final eight on the winners’ side, where he fell 9-6 to Charlie “Hillbilly” Bryant. Bryant moved on to Nick Vita, who’d gotten past David Henson 9-7, while Justin Hall and Shane Winters met up after edging out 9-8 Jamie Farrell and Brian Hickman, respectively. Hall went quickly through Winters 9-4 to the hot seat match against Bryant, who’d pushed past Vita 9-8. After coming up short against Hall 9-6, Bryant moved west to try to get back to him.

On the left side of the bracket, competition had been hot and was still going strong. Former Texas Open winner Gabe Owen ousted Jordanian champ Zaid Thweib 9-5 only to fall 9-6 to James Davis, Sr., who next faced his own son, James Davis, Jr., and finished him off 9-3. Following Davis’ 9-4 win over Mickey Woinicki and Sylver Ochoa’s 9-3 win over Andy Jethwa, Davis took care of Ochoa 9-5 but couldn’t get past Henson, who went on 9-4. Meanwhile, Carolina boy Keith Bennett backed up a 9-5 victory over Tommy Tokoph with a 9-4 win over Shane Harvey, and Cliff Joyner held Rafael Martinez to four games but could mark up only five games against Jason “Jaybird” Brown. Brown went on to squeak past Farrell 9-8 and shut out Bennett 9-0, but his march was stopped short 9-4 by Vita, who advanced into the quarterfinals against Bartram. Bartram, whose first task on the one-loss side was to get by Gary Abood 9-7, had his work cut out for him as he went on to David Henson 9-2 and Winters 9-4. Another 9-4 win over Vita pushed Bartram into the seminfinals against Bryant, where Bartram soon found himself down 8-3. With six straight games, though, Bartram pushed through to the early morning final match.

In the first set of the true double-elimination finals, Bartram pulled ahead of Hall and stayed there, pushing the second set 9-4. After Bartram got up to a 2-0 lead in the second set, Hall tied it at 2 and at 3, but Bartram retaliated with four straight to get the score to 7-3. In rack 11, Bartram’s overshot safety on the 7 ball left Hall long and tough but open, and he took that rack to make it 7-4. Bartram took the one after, though, to get on the hill, but he was left with a difficult shot on the 1 ball after the break. A miss gave the table over to Hall, who chose a safety but left it open, turning a tricky but negotiable layout over to Bartram. Bartram’s miscue on the 4 ball gave Hall one last chance, but a handshake ended the match and the tournament as Hall conceded after an uncharacteristic miss on the 8.

Bartram’s only loss came in the final eight on the winners’ side, where he fell 9-6 to Charlie “Hillbilly” Bryant.

Bartram’s only loss came in the final eight on the winners’ side, where he fell 9-6 to Charlie “Hillbilly” Bryant.

1st Chris Bartram $3,100
2nd Justin Hall $1,860
3rd Charlie Bryant $1,240
4th Nick Vita $930
5th Jason Brown $725
Shane Winters
7th Keith Bennett $525
David Henson
9th Jamie Farrell $380
Brian Hickman
Gary Abood
James Davis Sr.
13th Cliff Joyner $280
Shane Harvey
Ronnie Wiseman
Sylver Ochoa
17th Mickey Woinicki $220
Andy Jethwa
Jason Bagby
Tracy Sanders
Eric Acinena
Rafael Martinez
Tommy Tokoph
Adrian Lloyd
25th Hunter Blackwell $180
Sparky Ferrell
Huidji See
Ernesto Bayaua
Brandon Shuff
Robert Clark
Robert Almaraz
James Davis Jr.